Stenshorne doubles up at Hungaroring, 2 out of 2 for the Norwegian who flew to the third win of the season

Martinius Stenshorne doubled up at the Hungaroring. The Norwegian driver from R-ace GP also clinched victory in Race 2 at the Hungaroring, earning a solid 50 points from the round and reclaiming the lead of the Championship after Barcelona. He now has a total of 99 points, with a victory this time starting from the second block of the grid. His start today was perfect, allowing him to pass pole-sitter Josh Dufek from Van Amersfoort Racing. Taking advantage of the situation was Lorenzo Fluxà from Prema Racing, who emerged from turn 1 in second place. Dufek slipped to third, where he remained until the last lap when, after a Safety Car restart, he was overtaken by Macéo Capietto. The Frenchman from RPM secured his first podium in the single-seater series co-managed by Alpine and ACI Sport, strategically conserving a last push to pass for the final stages of the race, executing a perfect overtaking move. Dufek had to settle for fourth place in Race 2, after a qualifying session in which he set the fastest lap of the weekend.

The final race at the Empire of Speed was filled with excitement and twists. A long battle ensued between Capietto and Kas Haverkort, with the Dutchman from Van Amersfoort Racing fighting for the lead from the early stages. Haverkort then got involved in a tough battle with Tim Tramnitz from R-ace GP, and a contact between the two forced him to retire, while the German driver restarted from the back of the grid. This caused two of the main title contenders to miss out on scoring points, allowing Stenshorne to extend his lead in the standings. Laurens Van Hoepen from ART Grand Prix finished in fifth place after overtaking Bilinski and successfully stopped the many relentless attacks from the Pole driver of Team Trident. In turn, Bilinski became the target of Serbian driver Michael Belov from G4 Racing. A thrilling duel ensued between the two, providing great excitement for the numerous spectators present, with several wheel-to-wheel attempts, but no successful overtakes.

Bilinski then crossed the finish line in P6, while Belov came last in race 2. The Serbian driver tried one last overtaking during the finale restart, and then the two cars touched. For this incident Bilinski received after the race a 5-second penalty and slipped out of the points.  Sixth place went to Andrea Kimi Antonelli, becoming now Stenshorne’s main rival in the standings with 72 points. Frenchman Sami Meguetounif from MP Motorsport finished seventh, scoring points again after his podium finish in Race 2 at Barcelona. Santiago Ramos from RPM came in eight, showcasing his speed and mastery of the track throughout the weekend. Dilano Van ‘T Hoff, also from MP Motorsport, claimed the ninth position at the checkered flag, returning to the points zone. Rafael Camara from Prema Racing rounded the top 10, crossing the line eleventh track after battling in the midfield and having climbed many positions with an extremely solid performance, then gained the last point at stake after Bilinski’s penalty.

There were several retirements that necessitated the use of the Alpine leading car, forcing race leader Martinius Stenshorne to manage multiple restarts, which he did masterfully without ever jeopardizing his lead, rebuilding the gap from his pursuers each time. This added an additional challenge to the already treacherous Hungaroring circuit, the renowned home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With round 3 archived, the Teams and drivers of the Championship are already preparing for the next appointment. The next round of the series will be at Spa-Francorchamps, in the first weekend of July, in the occasion of the world famous 24 hours race.

Budapest (HUN), JUL 15-18 2023 – Round 3 of Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine 2023 at the Hungaroring. Podium race 2. © 2023 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency.

Martinius Stenshorne: “For sure, this is a really good weekend, we are really happy to bounce back like this after the Barcelona round. In the end was just a perfect weekend. We were a bit lucky yesterday, I would say, with the technical issue of Kimi, but today we had good start, and a good management of the race… it was a really good race!”

Lorenzo Fluxà: “It is the first time on the podium, I think we had the pace since the start of the year. At Imola, first race already P4, Barcelona also P4. I think we have been close, it was just a matter of making the last step. This weekend we made the step, we still have a few steps to make, to win and to be a bit stronger. I think today we still have a lot of stuff to improve, but I feel good. We know where to work on, we were work harder than ever. This is a good reward for making this step, but we still got a long way to go. I think: look forward, focus on what we have to do, and never stop pushing.”  

Macéo Capietto: “On the last restart I got a really good exit out of the last corner, and I kept the push to pass for the last lap in that case, so I just used it. I faked to the inside and switched to the outside, and it worked. It’s my first podium in FRECA, and it feels really good, it has been a while. During the winter tests, we were always really fast, and then it was just a matter of putting everything together, I think…but the car is really fast.”

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